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13.05.2006 Education

GES sets standards for CSSPS


Accra, May 12, GNA - Only candidates who obtain grade five and below in four core subjects at the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) would qualify for selection under the Computerised School Selection and Placement System in the 2006 / 2007 academic year.

Any candidate whose grade for any of the four core subjects - English Language; Mathematics, Social Studies and Science - exceeded grade five or whose result was cancelled by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) would be deemed not qualified for selection and placement, Mr A. Akuoko, Coordinator of the System, said on Friday.

Mr Akuoko said no aggregate would appear on the results slips and the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) would process the 2005 Basic Education Certificate Examination based on the new format, which would be studied by the Technical Working Committee (TWC).

Mr Akuoko, who was briefing the Media in Accra to educate the public on the forthcoming placement, said the policy guidelines had not substantially changed but were fine tuned to achieve the objective of the replacement of the manual system to ensure fairness and transparency since the selection was based on merit.

He said the format of the results should be such that parents and candidates could interpret whether the candidate had qualified for selection or not.

The guidelines stipulate that the four core subjects, English Language, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies/Technical Skills and two other best subjects from the rest of the BECE subjects would determine whether a candidate qualified for selection. Mr Akuoko reiterated that the system used the total processed raw scores of the six subjects instead of grades of each candidate for selection.

He said based on the total scores of the six subjects candidates were ranked according to order of merit before selection. Other conditions for qualification include a candidate obtaining a grade for each of the best two subjects not exceeding six and if added to the grades of the four core subjects must not exceed a total aggregate of 30.

Mr Akuoko said selection would be based purely on merit determined by the candidate's performance at the BECE and the chosen schools. Placement would also be determined by programmes and available vacancies in the chosen schools.

He said parents and guardians should note that after selection, placement of qualified candidates would be based on choices made during the BECE registration exercise.

For 2006/2007, qualified candidates, who are not placed by their third choice school, would be placed by their District choice and there would not be any regional placement. Mr Akuoko said for the 2006/2007 academic year candidates would have the opportunity to choose four schools from a list of categorized schools.

However, candidates are advised not to choose four popular schools located in a particular urban centre. "Thus in 2007 there would not be District choice during the BECE registration and hence no district or regional placement."

He announced that qualified candidates, who were not selected or who Deferred their admissions into senior secondary schools or technical institutes within the immediate past two years would be eligible for consideration for selection and placement alongside a current year's candidates. He said re-entry application forms for deferred candidates were on sale at 10,000 cedis each at the District Directorates of Education. Mr Akuoko said the closing date for submission of these forms was May 31, 2006 and stressed that applications submitted after that date would not be processed.

He said application forms for foreign students at five dollars each are available at the Secondary Education Division of the GES. Mr Akuoko urged parents to take the BECE registration seriously and encourage their children to select schools where their chances of gaining admission were brightest.

He said errors committed during registration had a bearing on the efficiency of the system.

About 134,700 errors were recorded in 2005 and about 50,000 errors had been identified from candidates, who were currently awaiting results, Mr Akuoko said.

He said they were in the process of identifying the categories of mistakes as some candidates could even misspell their names, adding that the Committee was crosschecking the errors for correction. Mr Akuoko said no candidates would be placed in any private school unless he/she selected the particular private school. He added, however, that some private schools had been absorbed by the Government for inclusion in the placement exercise. He said the greatest challenge was that the number of qualified candidates had always exceeded the number of vacancies available hence not all of them would get placed after the selection.